Cyprus has a rich tradition in wineries. The villages that have the name "wine villages" are the villages that have wineries and produce wine. Some of these villages, although they do not have a winery, are called wine villages because of the existence and cultivation of vineyards for the production of wine. The altitude of the area of the wine cellars reaches up to 1,100 meters, resulting in the winters at the highest being cold. In the summer, however, much of the area is kept cool.
Wine-producing villages are famous for their deeply rooted history in wine-growing. They are also famous for their exquisite local wines and the enchanting scenery of the wider region that produces them.
You will not find anywhere else in Cyprus such a great presence of wineries as in the southern slopes of the Troodos mountain range.
The route to the wine villages is enchanting. It combines the dry climate with a unique geology and leads to first-class wines, which mainly produce the local varieties of Xynisteri (white) and Black (red) grapes, as well as some imported varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro, Grenache and Syrah between 23 different varieties.
Beautiful villages make up the route to the wine villages with various wineries. It is worth visiting these villages not only for their wineries but also for their traditional architecture, the cobblestone narrow streets and the famous taverns that most of them have.
Photo: Doros Atheodorou
The main wine villages of Cyprus are the following: Kolossi, Erimi, Kantou, Souni-Zanakia, Upon Kibidis, Agios Amvrosios, Lofou, Vouni, Koilani, Pera Pedi, Mandria, Kato Platres, Omodos, Vasa, Malia, Arsos, Pachna, Anogira , Avdemou and belong mainly to the Limassol province.
Below are some details of some of these villages:
- Arsos: It is located on a steep slope, about 45 km between the cities of Pafos and Limassol, and is 1092 meters above sea level. The whole village consists of traditional stone houses that could be rented or offered as vacation accommodation. The village hosts many sources of mineral water, an olive press as well as a folk art museum and, of course, the winery. However, unfortunately the winery is closed to the public at this stage
- Vassa Kilianiou or Krassohorio: It is located on the slopes of the Troodos mountain range, about 36 km northwest of Limassol, at an altitude of 790 meters. The intensive cultivation of vineyards, grapes and wines has played a major role in the rise and prosperity of the stable economic development of the village. Vassa Kilianiou also has a spring of mineral water, a Byzantine museum and many traditional restaurants that are notorious among locals and Cypriots. Vasa winery is one of the largest wineries in Cyprus.
- Pachna: It is a large village located about 35 kilometers southwest of Limassol. The altitude of the village is between 400-745 meters above sea level. Mostly it consists of two two-storey houses characterized by limestone boulders, beautifully surrounded by the vineyards of the village. Every year around mid-August, the village hosts the grape festival. Pachna is also well-known for its dairy products, traditional Cypriot Zivania and excellent food at the local taverns.
- Omodos: It is the main wine-growing village of Cyprus. It is located on a hill, about 80 kilometers southwest of Nicosia, and is about 900 meters above sea level. In addition to the winery, Omodos also houses various museums such as the Byzantine icons museum, the folk art museum and the National Liberation Museum. The village itself was built around the monastery of the Holy Cross, which, according to reports, dates from 337 AD, when Saint Helen came to Cyprus. Inside the monastery there is a piece of holy rope used to tie Christ's hands on the cross during his crucifixion.
- Platres: They are located on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains at an altitude of 1,128 meters above sea level. Platres is a particularly popular holiday destination for locals and tourists. They are surrounded by dense forest and the Creece River. This combination offers Platres a fantastic climate for growing vineyards. Additionally, it has a number of large hotels, a charming country house, a tourist information office and many souvenir shops. Platres also has a famous nature trail called "Kalidonia", which leads to an impressive waterfall.
- Doros: Located in the Limassol province, about 25 kilometers outside the city, on a hill at an altitude of 470 meters. The village is surrounded by stones and vineyards. The village of Doros is famous for the creation of the best Commandaria (liqueur) and zivania all over Cyprus, drinks that can only be created by the highest quality grapes. In addition, it has a park-filled community full of pine trees, a windmill and an old water pump that works until today and continues to provide clean fresh water. Inside, the village houses a church built at the beginning of the 20th century, called Panagia Galakotropoussa, because the picture shows the Virgin Mary breastfeeding Jesus Christ.
- Laneia: It is a very well preserved village, full of narrow cobbled streets. It is located at the foot of the Troodos Mountains, about 26 kilometers from Limassol. There you can see many long houses with amazing lush gardens and courtyards. Many tourists travel there to see the "Old Lino", a wooden tool used to push the grapes. Laneia is also the home of many painters who welcome anyone who wants to join their studio with open arms.
- Lofou: It is still a village famous for its Commandaria, not to mention the rich water supply from the rivers "Kryo" and "Kourri". The village of Lofou is about 28 kilometers northwest of Limassol and its buildings are usually built of stone and wood. Around it there are several taverns serving only authentic, traditional Cypriot food and a Byzantine museum and an olive press
- Saint Therapon: It is a village of Limassol, located about 20 kilometers north of the city of Ermis. Saint Therapon has twelve preserved houses and vaults with arched rooms, often used as warehouses for wine jars. Once these rooms were used as barns for donkeys.
- Agios Amvrosios: It is a small village of 300 people. It is located in the city of Limassol, on the road just above Pachna, about 27 kilometers northwest of the city. The village has a small church called Agios Ambrose and two chapels as its main attractions: Ayia Elizabeth dating from the 14th century and St. George, created in the 11th century. Finally, it has an old olive mill, a winery and a holy spring.
- Mandria: A small village with a large fruit production, including apples and berries. It is united with the vineyards and has an impressive large winery. Mandria belongs to the Pafos area and it is located about 2 kilometers east of the village of Timi.